Was the verdict fair?
Via The Grio reports:
De’Marquise Elkins was found guilty of shooting Antonio Santiago in the face at point-blank range in a botched robbery on March 21 in Brunswick.
It took the jury took about two hours to convict the 18-year-old. He was convicted on all 11 counts, including two counts of felony murder and one count of malice murder.
Because he was 17 at the time of the shooting he will not face the death penalty under the state law. Elkins now faces a life behind bars.
Prosecutors say Elkins and an accomplice, 15-year-old Dominique Lang, stopped Sherry West and the older teen pointed a gun at her and demanded money before shots were fired.
Lang testified against Elkins during the trial and said the older teen fired the weapon. The 15-year-old is to be tried later.
Elkins’ attorney, Glynn County Public Defender Kevin Gough, said during the trial that it can’t be ruled out that “one or both parents” may have been involved in their son’s death. West has a history of mental illness and there were no eyewitnesses to the killing except West’s version of events.
During the two-week trial the West’s adult daughter, Ashley Glassey, testified against her mother. She was uneasy West phoned her the day her brother was killed for advice on cashing in on his insurance policy.
She also testified her mother’s account of what happened on the day kept on changing.
The killing of Santiago on March 21 drew national attention and exposed simmering tension in the coastal city of Brunswick, with opinion sharply divided along racial lines. The court case was moved to Marietta because of the extensive publicity surrounding the case.
At the start of the trial lawyer Gough objected to the racial makeup of potential jurors.
After the verdict, Gough issued a statement that he plans to appeal. He told reporters the all-white jury could be one basis for requesting a new trial. “That was not a jury of his peers,” he said.
Elkins’ mother, Karimah Elkins, was on trial alongside him and was found guilty of tampering with evidence but acquitted of lying to police.
Do you think the teens were unfairly judged?